When I found out one of my school friends was getting married at the end of July I really wanted to make an outfit to wear. Initially I thought I would use up the rest of my African wax print fabric to make a pencil skirt but when the Selena Skirt pattern arrived on my doorstep with the Simply Sewing magazine I changed my mind. I have seen rtw skirts like this in shops that have always looked amazing but so expensive, this was my chance to make one and hopefully for not as much money.
Unfortunately I didn’t have enough of the wax print left as it is a fabric hungry pattern, 3.5m for 115cm width, so I went on the search for something else. I had been looking for ages for suitable fabric as even though the pattern said to use lightweight drapey fabrics, I wanted something heavier to give a more defined shape. I started to try and find stretch cotton fabrics as they are heavier and can have a high quality finish as well as being comfy after all the wedding food! Minerva Crafts was somewhere that I had browsed before but never bought from, I sometimes find it a bit overwhelming as they have so much choice but as I knew what I wanted I found it so much easier. They have a gorgeous selection of stretch cotton but one stood out immediately, a navy sateen with a floral print. I loved the idea of it being a sateen so that it gave a much more expensive and high quality finish. I did buy some other fabric at the same time in case it wasn’t what I expected but decided my first choice was best. I was so impressed with Minerva Crafts as they refunded me straight away and it was so easy to send the fabric back.
The pattern has a seam at the front and back which I was keen to get rid off because of pattern matching however the fabric was not quite wide enough to put it on the fold. Luckily I had ordered 3m as it was 151cm wide and there was enough fabric for me to attempt to match the front and back seams. I wasn’t to bothered by the side seams as I thought it would be less obvious. I also decided to line the skirt as with it having a high-low hem you could see all the stitching on the back seam and hem from the front. The wrong side of the fabric was also a different colour as the fabric is printed and so I thought this would look odd. I went to my local craft shop hoping they would have something suitable to line my skirt, the only plain fabric they had was a cotton and so even though it wasn’t technically lining material it was lighter weight that my main fabric so I thought it would work. They only had 2m of it left so with some very careful pattern tetris I managed to get the four skirt pieces cut out.
Sewing it together was very straight forward. Front and back seams first, pattern matching was not perfect but from a distance you cant tell. It just means that the pattern is continuous and doesnt get broken up. The front was easier than the back as I had purposely put the front seam on a large navy section so that it wasn’t in the middle of a flower!
Once I had sewn in the concealed zip and the other side seam, I attached the lining by sewing it onto the zip first and then the other side seam in the same way. I was tempted to try and bag out the lining but decided against it as I didn’t want it to distort the fabric and just I couldn’t work how to do it properly.
I created the pleats and checked it for size. When cutting out the pattern I was amazed that I had to cut out the size 14 in rtw I am never more than a 10, but my waist measurement was between the 12 and 14 so that’s what I did. I ended up making the pleats bigger by about 5mm each and then attached the waistband, sewing the inside down by ‘stitching in the ditch’. Amazing technique which makes it look so neat and clean finish. I probably could have got away with the size 12 but it is always easier to take stuff in rather than try and add in pieces!
Finally the hems…they went on forever! I did the main fabric first, just turning it up by 2cm, and then I cut the lining down and turned it up by 1cm. I wanted to hide the stitching from the main fabric and so I had to make the lining shorter but long enough to cover any visible stitching.
I am so proud of this skirt. The fabric is perfect and went so well with my rtw cami top. I loved wearing it and it was so comfy, even with all the wedding food! I am definately better at sewing than Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting… I didn’t hit any!